Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland said Wednesday it looks optimistic for captain Connor McDavid to play in the team's regular-season opener on Oct. 2.
Holland said there remains a chance McDavid could play in a preseason game, but noted his availability remains in the hands of team doctors.
“First off the doctors are making the final decision. Secondly we’re going to err on the side of caution. But obviously if the doctors sign off and Connor wants to play, then we’ll play pre-season. Is there a chance he could play next week? There’s a chance.
"I think we need to run off another four, five, six days and then we’ll see. So I’m not going to say yes, I’m not going to say no. I think we’re pretty optimistic for opening night. Does he play a pre-season game? We’ll get to Kelowna, we’ll practice and then we’ll make the determination. I know he’s got to talk to some doctors. We’ve got to do some things, get some pictures and then ultimately it’s the doctor’s final day," Holland said.
TSN Edmonton Bureau Reporter Ryan Rishaug wrote Wednesday that McDavid has appeared to be a fully up to speed in training camp skates so far. Head coach Dave Tippett said he's been active in practice.
“He’s kind of got the same mindset. He’s practicing, he’s getting treatments. I mean he’s doing everything in practice. I think we’re going to get through the weekend and re-evaluate once we get back from Kelowna and see where we are," Tippett said.
The 22-year-old sustained a knee injury late last season and Holland vowed prior to camp the team could be conservative with his return. McDavid said earlier this week he would like to play in at least one preseason game.
McDavid had 41 goals and 75 assists in 78 games for the Oilers last season.